R. A. Salvatore

Robert Anthony Salvatore (born January 20, 1959) is an American author best known for The DemonWars Saga,[1] his Forgotten Realms novels, for which he created the popular character Drizzt Do'Urden, and Vector Prime, the first novel in the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series. He has sold more than 15 million copies of his books in the United States alone[2] and twenty-two of his titles have been New York Times best-sellers.[2]

Robert Anthony Salvatore
Salvatore in 2006
Salvatore in 2006
BornJanuary 20, 1959 (age 60)
Leominster, Massachusetts, United States
Pen nameR.A. Salvatore
GenreFantasy, science fiction
Notable worksForgotten Realms
The DemonWars Saga
SpouseDiane Salvatore

Early life and education

Salvatore at a book signing in 2008

Salvatore was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, the youngest of a family of seven. A graduate of Leominster High School, Salvatore has credited his high school English teacher with being instrumental in his development as a writer. During his time at Fitchburg State College, he became interested in fantasy after reading J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, given to him as a Christmas gift.[3] He developed an interest in fantasy and other literature, promptly changing his major from computer science to journalism.[4] He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications/Media from Fitchburg.[5] He earned this degree in 1981 and later a Bachelor of Arts in English.[4] Before taking up writing full-time, he worked as a bouncer.[6] He attributes his fierce and vividly described battle scenes to his experience as a bouncer.[7][8]

In the fall of 1997, his letters, manuscripts, and other professional papers were donated to the R.A. Salvatore Library at his alma mater, Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.[4]


In 1982, he started writing more seriously, developing a manuscript he titled Echoes of the Fourth Magic.[9] He created the setting of Ynis Aielle for the novel, writing it in longhand by candlelight.[10] In an interview with comic book website Project Fanboy, Salvatore said he landed the deal for his first book when, after finishing the script for Echoes of the Fourth Magic in early 1987, he sent the work to TSR and several other publishers. TSR was looking for an author to write the second book in the Forgotten Realms line and asked Salvatore to audition. In July 1987, Salvatore won the spot to write the book.[11] His first published novel was The Crystal Shard from TSR in 1988.[4][12]:19 The first hardcover novel from TSR was Salvatore's The Legacy (1992).[12]:19 After Passage to Dawn (1996), TSR's management picked a new author to write stories about Drizzt; Mark Anthony's Drizzt novel The Shores of Dusk was completed by the time Wizards of the Coast acquired TSR, but Wizards opted not to publish that one and instead brought Salvatore back to write about Drizzt, beginning with The Silent Blade (1998).[12]:283 The Silent Blade won the Origins Award that year.[4] Salvatore went on to publish several series of books in the Forgotten Realms campaign world, while lately his popularity surged due to his Demon Wars sagas and his two Star Wars books.

One of his most popular characters is Drizzt Do'Urden, a drow, or dark elf, portrayed against the stereotypes of his race, who defies a nation of evil enemies with his swordsmanship and courage. He abandons the Underdark, a barren land of unmarked and limitless tunnels where deadly creatures continually lurk. His journey for freedom leads him to the surface where he faces discrimination at every turn because of his dark heritage. Drizzt stumbles along in a harsh world until he finally comes upon friends who understand the kindness of his heart. Together, they fight for justice against sinister enemies who dare to disrupt the peace of Drizzt's newfound homeland.

In 1999, Salvatore was tasked with writing Vector Prime, the first novel in the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series. Vector Prime was extremely controversial among Star Wars fans because its plot included the death of Chewbacca, making the Wookiee the first major character from the original trilogy to be permanently killed off in the Star Wars expanded universe novels. Salvatore was ordered by Lucasfilm Ltd. to kill off the character. Many fans thought that Salvatore himself had made this decision, but it was actually Randy Stradley, the then-editor at Dark Horse Comics.[13]

In February 2008, Devil's Due Publishing published Spooks, a comic book about a U.S. government anti-paranormal investigator/task force created by Larry Hama and Salvatore. Hama created the military characters and plots, and Salvatore covered the monster characters.[14]

In 2010, Wizards of the Coast announced a new deal with Salvatore to write six more books featuring Drizzt the dark elf. The books were released between 2011 and 2016.[2]

Writing for video games

In addition to his novels, Salvatore wrote the story for the PS2, Xbox and PC video game Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (2004), working with the design team at Stormfront Studios. The game was published by Atari and was nominated for awards by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and BAFTA. CDS books commissioned him to edit a four book series based on the interactive online EverQuest game.[15] He also wrote the bot chat lines for the Quake III bots.

Salvatore was hired as creative director for upstart game developer 38 Studios, which was owned by former baseball player Curt Schilling. He wrote the dialogue and created a backstory spanning ten thousand years for the fantasy game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which was released in February 2012,[16] and sold over one million units.[17] However, three months later 38 Studios declared bankruptcy and ceased operations. The company laid off its entire staff, including Salvatore, with the $2 million fee for his services having never been paid.[18] Salvatore claimed he harbored no ill will toward Schilling in a 2014 interview with The Escapist. "Why would I sue Curt [for the $2 million]? Maybe he made a couple of bad business decisions ... [but] he didn't do anything nefarious, and he got wiped out. He's lying in the gutter and you want me to kick him in the head? Why would anyone do that?"[19]


  1. ^ Shippey, T.A. eds. Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy vol I. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 1996.
  2. ^ a b c Wizards of the Coast press release
  3. ^ Clute, John. And John Grant. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. NY: ST. Martkin’s Press, 1997
  4. ^ a b c d e "R.A. Salvatore". Archived from the original on February 28, 2009.
  5. ^ Salvatore, R.A. (2007). "War and Peace". In Lowder, James. Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 356–358. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0.
  6. ^ Clute, John. And John Grant. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. NY: ST. Martkin’s Press, 1997. Publishers Weekly. May 17, 2004, Vol. 251 Issue 20, p23
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLf1hBUr9M4
  8. ^ Pringle, David eds. St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers. Detroit, MI: St. James Press, 1996
  9. ^ Shippey, T.A. ed. Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy vol II. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 1996.
  10. ^ Varney, Allen (October 1998). "Profiles: R.A. Salvatore". Dragon. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast (#252): 120.
  11. ^ "Project Fanboy Interview". Archived from the original on July 16, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  13. ^ Randy Stradley on DarkHorse.com message boards
  14. ^ "Devil's Due Publishing press release: "Special San Diego Comic-Con Announcement", July 36 2007". Archived from the original on March 5, 2009.
  15. ^ Raugust, Karen. "*The Expanding World of EverQuest". Publishers Weekly. May 17, 2004, Vol. 251 Issue 20, p23
  16. ^ http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/121/1218070p1.html
  17. ^ Yoon, Andrew (May 24, 2012). "Kingdoms of Amalur needed 3 million sales 'to break even,' RI governor says". Shacknews. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  18. ^ Bai, Matt (April 20, 2013). "Thrown for a Curve in Rhode Island". NYTimes.com. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  19. ^ Craddock, David (October 15, 2014). "The Fall of 38 Studios, and DemonWars: More From R.A. Salvatore". The Escapist. Retrieved January 7, 2015.


  • Cassada, Jackie. “The Lone Drow (book).” Library Journal September 15, 2003, Vol. 128 Issue 15, p95
  • Cannon, Peter. Zaleski, Jeff. THE THOUSAND ORCS (BOOK) Publishers Weekly. 10/7/2002, Vol. 249 Issue 40, p57
  • THE HIGHWAYMAN: a Novel of Corona Publishers Weekly. 3/1/2004, Vol. 251 Issue 9, p54.

External links

Ascendance (novel)

Ascendance is the first novel in the second DemonWars Saga trilogy by R. A. Salvatore. The book is also the fifth out of seven books in the combined DemonWars Saga.

Chronicles of Ynis Aielle

Chronicles of Ynis Aielle is a fantasy trilogy by American author R. A. Salvatore, published between 1990 and 2000. It comprises Echoes of the Fourth Magic (1990), The Witch's Daughter (1991), and Bastion of Darkness (2000).

The first of the trilogy was the first manuscript that R. A. Salvatore submitted to publishers, although not his first to be published. He started writing it in 1982 and completed it in 1987. He created the setting of Ynis Aielle for the novel, which he wrote in longhand by candlelight.

Drizzt Do'Urden

Drizzt Do'Urden () is a fictional character in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Drizzt was created by author R. A. Salvatore as a supporting character in the Icewind Dale Trilogy. Salvatore created him on a whim when his publisher needed him to replace one of the characters in an early version of the first book, The Crystal Shard. Drizzt has since become a popular heroic character of the Forgotten Realms setting, and has been featured as the main character of a long series of books, starting chronologically with The Dark Elf Trilogy. As an atypical drow (dark elf), Drizzt has forsaken both the evil ways of his people and their home in the Underdark, in the drow city of Menzoberranzan.

Drizzt's story is told in Salvatore's fantasy novels in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, The Dark Elf Trilogy, the Legacy of the Drow series, the Paths of Darkness series, The Hunter's Blades Trilogy, the Transitions series, and the Neverwinter Saga, as well as in the short stories "The Dowry", "Dark Mirror", and "Comrades at Odds". All of the novels featuring Drizzt have made the New York Times Best Seller list. A number of the novels have been adapted into graphic novels by Devil's Due Publishing. Drizzt has also been featured in D&D-based role-playing video games, including the Baldur's Gate Series and Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone.

Homeland (Forgotten Realms novel)

Homeland is a fantasy novel by American writer by R. A. Salvatore, the first book in The Dark Elf Trilogy, a prequel to The Icewind Dale Trilogy. It follows the story of Drizzt Do'Urden from the time and circumstances of his birth and his upbringing amongst the drow (dark elves).

Legacy of the Drow

The Legacy of the Drow is a New York Times best-selling fantasy series by R. A. Salvatore. It is the third series following the adventures of the Forgotten Realms character Drizzt Do'Urden.

This series is followed up by the Paths of Darkness series.


Mortalis is a fantasy novel by American writer R. A. Salvatore. Spanning the gap between the first and second DemonWars Saga trilogies, it is also the fourth out of seven books in the combined DemonWars Saga.

R. A. Salvatore bibliography

This is complete bibliography of the works by American fantasy author R. A. Salvatore.

The Ancient

The Ancient is a novel by R. A. Salvatore set in his world of Corona. The Ancient is the sequel to The Highwayman. It is about a crippled man named Bransen Garibond, also known as the Highwayman. After being kicked out of Pryd Holding, Bransen is searching for his long lost father, traveling with his wife Cadayle, and her mother Callen.

He gets tricked into fighting a war against the Samhaist leader, Ancient Badden. On a lake just below Badden's Magical Ice Castle, there are societies in the middle of their own conflicts, unaware of Badden's plan to destroy them. Bransen becomes the only person able to save all of the lake's inhabitants, and stop all of northern Honce from being under Badden's Control.

The Crimson Shadow series

The Crimson Shadow series is a fantasy novel series created by R. A. Salvatore. It consists of three books:

The Sword of Bedwyr, published in 1994

Luthien's Gamble, published in 1996

The Dragon King, published in 1996In 2006, the series was re-published as an omnibus under the title The Crimson Shadow.

The DemonWars Saga

The DemonWars Saga is a series of seven High fantasy novels by American writer R.A. Salvatore. The series is set in the world of Corona, principally in the kingdoms of Honce-the-Bear and Behren, and amongst the nomadic To-gai-ru. The Saga is separated into two trilogies bridged by a single book, Mortalis. The saga has an accompanying roleplaying game, entitled Demon Wars.

The Demon Apostle

The Demon Apostle is the third book in the first DemonWars Saga trilogy by R. A. Salvatore. The book is also the third out of seven books in the combined DemonWars Saga.

The Demon Awakens

The Demon Awakens is a fantasy novel by American writer R.A. Salvatore, the first book in the first Demon Wars Saga trilogy. It is also the first out of seven books in the combined Demon Wars Saga.

The Dragon's Dagger

The Dragon's Dagger is a 1994 fantasy novel by R. A. Salvatore, the second book in the Spearwielder's Tales book series.

The Halfling's Gem

The Halfling's Gem is a fantasy novel by American writer by R. A. Salvatore, the third book in The Icewind Dale Trilogy.

The Woods Out Back

The Woods Out Back is a 1993 fantasy novel by R. A. Salvatore. It is part of the Spearwielder's Tales series.


The Underdark is a fictional setting which has appeared in Dungeons & Dragons role-playing campaigns and Dungeons & Dragons-based fiction books, including the Legend of Drizzt series by R. A. Salvatore. It is described as a vast subterranean network of interconnected caverns and tunnels, stretching beneath entire continents and forming an underworld for surface settings. Polygon called it "one of D&D's most well-known realms".

Vector Prime

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Vector Prime is a science fiction novel by American writer R. A. Salvatore and published in 1999. It is the first installment of the New Jedi Order series set in the Star Wars universe. The book has received much controversy for the death of a prominent character from the films (the first and only time a major film character has been killed off in the Star Wars expanded universe), despite George Lucas's approval. On its release, the book was featured on the New York Times Hardcover Bestseller List.

Bibliography by R. A. Salvatore
Forgotten Realms series
Corona series
Other series

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